Farmer Ian Dickenson moved into his Blessington property in September 1969 and got more than he knew in the purchase.
Along with the property came a daily volunteer rainfall observer position for the Bureau of Meteorology, however he did not find that part out until he moved in and found a note.
And ever since he has been recording weather observations at the BOM’s Musselboro (Elverton) Station.
“I purchased a farm in Blessington with the support of my family and arrived after the previous owners had left the property,” Mr Dickenson said.
“I noticed there was a note left on the sink with the BOM literature advising me that this was now my job.”
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He has since covered some of Tasmania’s major weather events including dry periods in 1985, the June 2016 floods and the heaviest snowfall he can remember seeing at the farm earlier this month.
Despite more than 50 years of dedication, Mr Dickenson said the recording process was an easy daily task.
Each day he heads out to the rain gauge in his ute, records the total, writes down the data in a diary and then onto a BOM data sheet, before posting the sheet to the BOM at the end of each month.
“My father was a very generous man in respect of contributing to his community and I guess some of that must have rubbed off on me,” he said.
“I believe the information provided to all of us by BOM is important especially for the primary industries; our businesses viability largely depend on what the weather dishes up, so if providing rainfall records helps in some small way, I am happy to do it.
“There are some jobs on the farm that do become more taxing, but provided I can still get in and out of my ute to read the rain gauge, this (observing) will be one of the last jobs to go.”
The 76-year-old was recognised for his 50 year contribution on Tuesday with a BOM Rainfall Excellence Award in Hobart.
BOM hazard preparedness and response southern manager Simon McCulloch said Mr Dickenson’s commitment to the task had been essential.
“Our volunteer observers provide an important service that the Bureau relies on to deliver crucial weather and forecasting services across Australia, as well as strengthen our long-term understanding of Australia’s climate,” he said.
“It’s fantastic to see dedicated volunteers such as Mr Dickenson taking the time to assist the Bureau in such a manner, especially as we know these volunteer duties are on top of their full-time jobs or other personal commitments.
“I want to thank Mr Dickenson for the great work he has done for the Bureau and the Tasmanian community.”
The Musselboro Station initially opened as a flood warning station in 1950 before it became an official rainfall observation station in 1969 thanks to Mr Dickenson.
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